Courtesy Town of Cochrane

Rocky mountain high

For Cochrane, Springbank and Bearspaw residents, mountain views are only part of the appeal

If you head west from Calgary, the views of the Rocky Mountains keep getting more and more spectacular.
Given the scenery, it’s no wonder that areas west of the city have long been home to much sought-after real estate.

The Town of Cochrane, and the rural communities of Bearspaw and Springbank in Rocky View County, are prized for their mountain views and easy access to the Rockies.

“There’s nothing nicer than driving home and you’re driving towards the mountains,” said Lorraine Hamilton, an area sales manager with Jayman Built in Cochrane’s Sunset Ridge community. Sunset Ridge is one of three communities in Cochrane where the company has showhomes, the other two being Heartland and Riviera at Riversong.

Hamilton has lived in Cochrane for 11 years and says developments like Sunset Ridge take advantage of the beautiful mountain-view setting, with parks, a pond and pathways that wind down to other areas of town.

She says residents who don’t happen to have a mountain view from their own home only need to walk a few minutes to enjoy the scenic splendour of the area.

Hamilton adds that Cochrane now has all the shopping and services that residents need, but still maintains a small-town feel, including its historic downtown.

“In the city, you’re six to eight feet between houses, and we just said we need a little more elbow room.” – Kim McKylor, Springbank resident & Rocky View County councillor

Bearspaw and Springbank are rural communities with stunning mountain views of their own, located between Cochrane and Calgary with Springbank south of the Bow River and Bearspaw to the north.
Jason Bamlett, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX House of Real Estate, lives in the area and has been selling in both Springbank and Bearspaw for more than 35 years.

“There’s a number of things that draw people,” said Bamlett. “The natural beauty and the vistas from both locations are rather unique. There’s really not a bad area out there.”

He says it’s very rare in North America to have an area with such amazing mountain views right by a major metropolitan area.

“There’s a perception that it’s a long drive out there, but it’s closer to downtown than some communities inside the city,” he said.

Bamlett says Bearspaw and Springbank also offer a diverse selection of real estate that’s far more than traditional acreages.

He says there are still the older, large acreages, but also lots of less than two acres, estate homes in neighbourhoods like Elbow Valley and Harmony with larger-than-city lots, and even villas along the Bearspaw golf course and in newer developments like Watermark at Bearspaw.

Bamlett says there is also unique Bow River access in the Emerald Bay neighbourhood, and an upcoming Phil Mickelson golf course in Harmony.

Kim McKylor, a resident of Springbank for 20 years and the local councillor with Rocky View County, says the views are indeed an attraction, but so too is the feeling of space compared with life in the city.

McKylor says when they left Calgary to buy a five-acre lot with house in Springbank, it was for the additional space.

“In the city, you’re six to eight feet between houses, and we just said we need a little more elbow room,” she said.

She adds Springbank also has great schools, easy access to the city, and Canmore and Banff are only a 30- and 45-minute drive away, respectively.

“My husband and daughter could get up and be skiing at the top of Nakiska in 30 minutes,” she said.

McKylor says the beautiful views will always be there, but as new development takes place in Springbank, residents want it to be done in a responsible manner to maintain the lifestyle they treasure.

“As a councillor in this area, I want to make sure that we always have our eye to the future.”

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